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Nurse Licensure Compact Goes Live, Enabling Nurses to Practice Telehealth in Multiple States

July 25, 2017
by Heather Landi
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The National Council of State Boards of Nursing announced Monday that North Carolina became the 26th state to join the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), triggering the compact to take effect in six months.

The enactment of the compact will allow registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in person or via telehealth in both their home state and other eNLC states.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed the legislation July 20. “The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators and the incoming group of eNLC Interstate Commission members are extremely pleased with the eNLC legislative progress made in the last 18 months,” the organization stated in a press release.

NCSBN President Katherine Thomas, M.N., R.N., executive director, Texas Board of Nursing, said, “We have made great strides in unlocking access to nursing care across the nation and are thrilled to begin this process. Even as we work on implementing this first phase our efforts continue to aid other states in passing eNLC legislation so our ultimate goal of having all 50 states in the compact is realized.”

Allowing nurses to have mobility across state borders, the eNLC increases access to care while maintaining public protection, the organization said. The eNLC is an updated version of the original NLC.

Representatives of the 26 states that make up this new compact will form the eNLC Interstate Commission. The Commission’s first priority will be to adopt operational rules and set implementation dates.  Once set, dates of implementation will be shared with licensed nurses and the public.

According to NCSBN officials, licensing standards are aligned across eNLC states so all applicants for a multistate license are required to meet the same standards, which include federal and state fingerprint-based criminal background checks. 

 In 2018, eNLC states will implement and prepare to issue multistate licenses. As of July 25, states in the eNLC are Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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